speaker and crossover design

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Does anyone have some good recommendations for crossover design texts or other references?

I'm not really asking about xover optimization programs. I'm looking more for theory. I'm trying to avoid reading a 500 page EE text on analog filter design. (p.s. already read LDC-chapter on xovers is so-so)

Also, does anyone have any opinions on John Eargle's "Loudspeaker Handbook?" All I could find was this thread- Loudspeaker Handbook
thanks super. it's a shame that there isn't more on this site.

if i may pause to whine, though

let's see...

number of views and replies to a thread about power cords, ~2000 and ~100, respectively.

number of views and replies about crossover/filter design references, 62 and 1, respectively.

reminds me of a quote attributed to henry kissinger which paraphrased goes--the arguements are so heated precisely because the stakes are so low. he said this, i believe in reference to academic debates.
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But power cords are a more electrifying topic .... Seriously you
do have a point. You may want to try the True Audio web page they have a few articles that you may find interesting and a realy
fine article on the baffle step subject. I have been trying to find how to sum the effect of a drivers natural roll off and the effect of
a crossover network like if I biamp using a simple 6db/oct filter at
say 200hz and my speaker also has an acoustical rolloff of 6db/oct
at 250 hz how do you figure the net sloap and -3 db point?

Thanks for posting.

such cynicism ucla88.....:^)

but you are correct. It is very easy to argue about the quality of the icing (frosting) if you have little understanding of the ingredients, the preparation and cooking techniques that went into making the cake.

And even with all that, the best chef's and pastrycooks have something else thet add, something beyond. So do great engineers, musicians, philosophers, humanists, parents and so on. What does this have to do with crossover design? Learn from the best.

I have just read, tonight, an excellent essay on speaker design principles. No maths, just the approach, or view. Please read <a href="http://www.aloha-audio.com/library/speaker-design1.html">The Art of Speaker Design</a>. This article is also good for the beginner because it mentions specific drivers, and speaks about their limitations and strengths, much of which you can cross reference with the manufacturers data sheets, and personal listening. Lots of wisdom here. No use having the best crossover in the world if your drivers are crap/poorly selected.

Another article by the same author, Lynn Olson, deals with a step by step analysis of the design principles and analysis of the development of his <a href="http://www.aloha-audio.com/Ariel.html"> Ariel</a> speaker. There are also sections on optimising crossovers. This goes beyond a mere technical/ textbook analysis and into how to implement and optimise. Check out the other articles in his <a href="http://www.aloha-audio.com/library/"> library</a>. Lots of juicy stuff.


Acoustical Engineering. by Harry F. Olsen. Long OOP but <a href="audioxpress.com"> audioXpress</a> has a reprint for $70. Try ebay it comes up there too. I paid $20 for mine.

Sound Reproduction by G.A.Briggs. Again long OOP, but comes up secondhand.

Master Handbook of Acoustics by F. Everest Walton. Speakers interact heavily with the room. Learn about what actually happens so you can make sure you are testing the right thing.

Loudspeaker Design Cookbook by Vance Dickason. Lots here, a real must have.

Horn Loudspeaker Design by Jack Dinsdale. Available <a href="http://www.britishaudio.co.uk/dinsdale.html"> here</a>

Technical papers:

Phase Coherent Crossover Networks by Nelson Pass. PDF <a href="http://www.passlabs.com/pdf/phasecrx.pdf">here</a>

<a href="http://www.linkwitzlab.com">Linkwitz Labs</a>. Lots of stuff here from someone who knows a little about it. Check out Thor and Phoenix.

There are lots more but I am tired and will post when I find them. Use these, and other refence works, along with a software optimisation program, and experiment. The maths are relatively easy (for a program) but the parameters dynamically interact so it never siunds the way the software says IME.


it's just an observation;)

you know, awhile back in the 70's, a study was done where people were asked which speaker sounded better, one with a dull grey grill, or one with a bright yellow grill. the yellow speaker was the overwhelming favorite. of course, it was the same speaker.

the only logical conclusion is that yellow speaker grills are clearly acoustically more transparent than grey ones:eek:

seriously, the reference to Lynn Olsen's site is a good one, and some interesting tidbits regarding overall design philosphy can be gleaned from this. I actually had visions of building a pair of ariels awhile back, but balked. I'm still mighty impressed with his choice of drivers though.

fwiw, to know where i'm coming from, i have an engineering degree, but i don't do speaker design or acoustics for a living (long story...boring, actually). so i don't mind complex math/theory, in fact i like it. Although you have to draw the line somewhere. (
Here , in fact.)

Problem is, I don't always have the time to expend on peripheral intellectual topics as I would like to. I'm trying to fill holes in my knowledge of speaker design. One area that my theory is weak is crossover design, hence my request for texts.

I've visted all the sites you've mentioned at one time or another, all worthy indeed. I may get one of the books you recommend on room acoustics-my knowledge in this area is only so, so


p.s. Woody, the true audio site is also a good one.
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Usually we hear that a closed box has 12db/octive roal off but
this only applies if it has a QTS of .7 I believe a closed box QTS of
.5 yields a 6db/octive slope with the 3 db point being at 1.55 times the closed box resonance frequency.


if all you really want is a text on crossovers, study any first or second year text on basic electronics. Basic reactive circuit theory mostly. The implementations are all there. But they will not tell you how to design a crossover that works sonically. Seeing as how you are an engineer, I'm sure you will not find the modelling too difficult. It's very similar to what you would do in any mech eng degree too.

FWIW, so you know where I'm coming from, I am an EE, and before that I studied aeronautics. I have worked in studios and broadcast for a decade and a half and now teach electronics at college.

I'm sorry you did not find the references I gave very helpful. My intent was to show you some information that would guide you in the correct direction, so that you might actually gain some insight into how to develop crossovers that work. It was impossible to know from your initial post that you were an 'engineer', or I would not have wasted you time in referring you to peripheral intellectual topics. I thought you might be an interested amatuer, and not up to heavy texts, even though I referred you to three. I don't know about you, but I like to learn from people who have walked the path successfully before me, irrespective of their formal training. Wisdom is wisdom, irrespective of it's source.

Please accept my apologies for the waste of your time. And thank you for the strawman.

Did you know, the red ones are more dynamic. Of course.....


I'm sorry if I gave you the wrong impression. I wasn't referring to your links when I said "I don't always have the time to expend on peripheral intellectual topics..."

Actually, your links are really quite good-it's just I've read most of them. I am planning to buy Alton's text-I've heard others mention it as quite good.

What I was referring to is my own tendency to wander down intellectual sidetracks. You know, I start out looking for a simple reference for something, like crossover design, and somehow I get sidetracked. First, I have to reread a calculus primer, then, basic circuit theory, then op amps and digital filters....etc.

Next thing I know I've got ten 500 page texts to read before I even get to my original question.

Hey, do you know any good texts on psychoacoustics? (Seriously, I just can't help getting sidetracked.)
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